La Vella, Andorra: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

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La Vella is the capital city of Andorra. Its official name is Andorra La Vella or Andorra the old in Catalan. The city is located in a valley surrounded by the Pyrenees. La Vella lives up to its name, it has been in existence since Roman times. La Vella was first mentioned as part of a buffer zone between Charlemagne and Umayyad ruled Spain or Al Andalus. Throughout history, the surrounding mountains has protected the capital from invading forces. At the same time, the mountains have also helped to isolate La Vella from the rest of Europe. La Vella has been Andorra's capital city since 1275 making it one of the oldest capitals in Europe. It was only in 1990s, that La Vella began to be noticed by other European countries for skiing and as a banking hub. Like most of Andorra, the city takes pride in being a tax haven. La Vella includes Andorra's second largest city Escaldes-Engordany. It is also one of Europe's tiniest capital city with 40,000 residents.